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Franklinton Tour to show off oldest community in Central Ohio
The Franklinton Homeowners Association will host the Franklinton Tour of Homes on Aug. 28.
The tour coincides with the Franklinton Arts District’s Urban Scrawl, which will be held from noon – 6 p.m. the same day. Both events will be held at Dodge Park, 400 Rich St.
From Dodge Park the tour will take guests around Franklinton to approximately 10 area homes, as well as some other interesting sites. Participants will travel from site-to-site in an air-conditioned van.
The tour is a chance for homeowners to show-off their homes, whether they have maintained, updated or are in the process of remodeling.
Franklinton was the first settlement in Central Ohio, first laid out in 1797 by land surveyor, Lucas Sullivant.
The Tour of Homes will allow people to tour the neighborhood and see not only how homes are being updated, and new-builds implemented, but also how the community has been changing, while still holding on to its historical past.
In the late 1700s Sullivant noticed the fertile soil and forests, as well as its central location in the coming state. Sullivant chose to locate Franklinton, named after Benjamin Franklin, near the forks of the Scioto, where the Olentangy River meets the Scioto.
Lots were planned to be sold; however, before the sale, Franklinton experienced its first flood.
The town plans were changed to move the boundaries onto higher ground after the Great Flood of 1798.
After the new area was settled upon, Sullivant built the first brick building in the county, which would become his permanent home. The home is no longer standing, and the lot was the most recently the site of Graham Ford, which closed its doors in 2008.
To promote settlement in Franklinton, Sullivant donated a street to those who would become settlers. This is how Gift Street acquired its name.
Bea Murphy, who has resided in the Westgate community for the past 25 years, and previously lived in Franklinton with her family for 18 years, is on the board of the Franklinton and Hilltop historical societies.
Murphy has kept up-to-date on renovations of historic buildings in Franklinton, and has noticed the destruction of others to build new homes and apartments.
“They’re getting rid of some of the historical places. I sort of didn’t want them to do that,” Murphy said. “But on the other hand, they’ve really built some nice houses, too.”
Some issues faced by residents of Franklinton have changed throughout the years, as flooding continued to be a consistent problem until the creation of the floodwall in March 2004.
“There were times, in particularly, before the floodwall was built, where the development and focus wasn’t there,” said State Representative Michael Stinziano. “It hurt the community for a couple of decades.”
Stinziano said residents have done a great job highlighting the positive attributes with festivals and home and garden tours.
“The more people that come and see those attributes, the more that are going to want to stay,” Stinziano said.
By highlighting residents’ homes, whether old or new, in historical Franklinton, the Franklinton Tour of Homes may succeed in bringing new residents, or inspiring current ones, to continue to develop the oldest part of the city.
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